Jefferson will apply for the Iowa Great Place designation through the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Last year, the committee pursued the application as Greene County but realized that county-wide designation is very difficult. Iowa Great Places include documentation of community visioning, specific strategies for success, partnerships and collaboration, and development of local assets such as arts & culture, architecture, diversity, entrepreneurial incentives, historic fabric, housing options, natural environment and amenities. A quote from this department about Iowa Great Places is”recognize communities that take action to enhance their local places while staying true to what makes them unique.”
Lauren Subler with Region XII Council of Government will assist in writing the application and did so in 2019. This is a designation based on a rubric – not a competitive program. The online application is due on May 1 and then a site visit is scheduled.
With the designation comes grant funding opportunities towards projects in the visioning plan. Raccoon Valley Bike Trail is an Iowa Great Place. The City of Perry received the designation in 2018.
Click here for a list of the 40 Iowa Great Places